Developed economies should impose an extra tax on the profits of fossil fuel firms because “polluters must pay,” U.N. secretary general Antonio Guterres said Tuesday .
“The combined profits of the largest energy companies in the first quarter of this year are close to 100 billion U.S. dollars,” Guterres said while addressing the U.N. General Assembly in New York. “I urge all governments to tax these excessive profits and use the funds to support the most vulnerable people through these difficult times.”
Guterres noted that the fossil fuel industry is feasting on hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies and high profits while households’ budgets shrink and the “planet burns”.
The U.N. secretary said taxes can create funds diverted to countries affected by climate change and households struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.
The Portuguese politician and diplomat stated that fossil fuel firms and their enablers needed to be held accountable. “That includes the banks, private equity, asset managers and other financial institutions that continue to invest and underwrite carbon pollution.”
According to Guterres, there is a massive public relations machine raking in billions to shield the fossil fuel industry from scrutiny.